When we built our house almost 20 years ago, I wanted to have a tile splash board behind the kitchen counters. The plan was to make my own hand painted tiles.
My friend Yvette was painting tiles and she showed me how to apply glazes onto unfired clay tiles. The tiles were fired in a kiln at the artisan tile business where she worked.
I made drawings and planned out a series of tiles that would create a panoramic landscape, decorated with animals and an occasional dish or basket of food. After a few test firings, I could see that the learning curve was too steep for me. The glazes were one color when you paint them and another when they are finished firing. The process was more involved than I had thought. The quality of my tests were not good and it would take a lot of practice to get the tiles to look the way I wanted.
Even though I really wanted to use ceramic tiles, I decided to make “faux tiles” instead. I ended up painting masonite with acrylic paint and coating it with polyurethane.
I had fun trying to make them look like tiles, adding blue borders, with space between each painted square. With a jig saw, I cut out openings for the electric outlets. When people see our kitchen, they see a row of tiles, not paint on masonite. The panel has held up well over the years and can be easily washed. I plan in making more for another area in the kitchen when we do some renovations.